Man sentenced to 60 years for rape, kidnapping, robbery of UT Arlington student

An Arlington man who kidnapped, robbed and sexually assaulted a University of Texas at Arlington student in 2018 was sentenced on Thursday to 60 years in prison.

Joel Mambe, 21, had pleaded guilty to those three charges in April and he was ordered to prison after a pre-sentence investigation was complete.

Mambe was sentenced Thursday in Criminal District Court No. 396 and got 60 years each for aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated sexual assault. He also was sentenced to two years for drug possession. The sentences will be served concurrently.

The Arlington man will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years.

Minutes before Mambe was sentenced, defense attorney Ray Napolitan had asked State District Judge George Gallagher for probation or a lighter sentence of 10 to 20 years.

“He’s taken full responsibility,” Napolitan said. “He’s not blaming drugs. He knows he’s looking at some type of punishment.”

Mambe testified Thursday morning during his sentencing hearing that he had turned to cocaine, marijuana, Xanax and other prescription drugs to handle his problems, but he didn’t blame them for what he did in June 2018.

“I’m truly, truly sorry,” Mambe said when asked by his lawyer what he would tell the victim. “I pray for you and your family every day. I can’t imagine how hurt you are. I need to sit in prison and be punished for my actions.”

The victim and her family members sat in the courtroom Thursday morning as Mambe testified. Her mother also took the witness stand.

Under questioning from prosecutor Tracey Kapsidelis, Mambe admitted that he had told several people about the kidnapping and robbery after the crimes, but he failed to mention that he had sexually assaulted the victim.

Mambe also said he had bought a video game, Lunchables, cigarettes and drugs with the money he stole from the victim.

“He doesn’t get it,” Kapsidelis said in a closing statement to the judge. Lucas Allan was the other prosecutor in the case. “He was looking for trouble that night.”

The attack occurred about 3 a.m. on June 20, 2018, near the victim’s home at the Midtown Apartments at 1121 UTA Blvd.

Mambe approached her armed with a handgun.

She said when she told the gunman she didn’t have any cash, he forced her to drive to a nearby bank, where she withdrew as much as the bank would allow, Arlington police have said.

The woman was then forced to drive to an apartment complex, where Mambe sexually assaulted her, Arlington police said. It wasn’t clear exactly where the assault took place.

Afterward, Mambe took the wheel and drove to a convenience store, where he warned the woman to stay in the car while he went in and bought $30 worth of miscellaneous items with the woman’s debit card. according to Arlington police reports.

Mambe forced her to drive to an east Arlington apartment complex, where he got out of the vehicle and ran, police said.

The woman drove back to her home, where she called police.

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